Former Calcasieu Parish Tax Assessor Richard Cole has pled guilty to two counts of malfeasance in office today after investigators found that $48,000 of personal expenses were charged to his office credit card. Cole was indicted in October 2010 after an audit showed the fiscal discrepancies. He stepped down from his post in January of this year.

Former Tax Assessor Richard Cole, Jr.

The word of Cole’s guilty plea comes just weeks before the election to name his successor. Cole will go before the court for sentencing on Dec. 9 at 9 a.m. First Assistant District Attorney Cynthia Killingsworth prosecuted the case, according to the district attorney’s office.

According to KPLC-TV, Cole’s two malfeasance counts include $48,000 of personal expenses Cole charged to his office credit card. The second count involves $4,000 he was reportedly given for a conference he wound up not attending. Also uncovered by the audit was a $2,000 a month lease of a vehicle for nearly two years.

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